The Sixteen Trust

Founder and CEO Lee Cavaliere

Lee Cavaliere is a curator and contemporary art specialist.

Following a number of years working with the Tate’s Collection displays, he moved on to the commercial sector, delivering contemporary exhibitions programmes at Max Wigram Gallery and the Fine Art Society on Bond Street, London. He works with artists, galleries and museums internationally, developing exhibitions and facilitating opportunities and connections. He now heads up VOMA, the world’s first online art museum, arts education charity The Sixteen Trust, as well as numerous charitable, community and NGO projects internationally. He is dedicated to opening up access to the arts, promoting equality and challenging exclusion and elitism.

Lee was kind enough to share his vision with us:

The arts are not seen as an economically viable career for many young people. The Sixteen Trust was founded to address the need for the arts to be more diverse, and to give access to the global art market for people from less privileged backgrounds.

Across arts disciplines, there is a clear and perpetual lack of diversity; even given recent awareness of different attitudes, our cultural institutions are overwhelmingly dominated by wealthy, white people. In order for our culture and heritage sectors to thrive and adapt, this needs to change.

The Sixteen Trust was founded with this in mind, focussing on the source of this issue – the disparity that exists between people of wealth and resource, and those, often non-urban, young people who do not have such access.

We work with mentors, whose careers stem from their studies of arts subjects – theatre set and costume designers, art lawyers, museum technicians and curators, actors, producers of film and TV…They each spend prolonged periods with young people under 16 to discuss ideas, develop skills, and challenge the idea that the arts are for ‘other people’.

We believe the arts are for, and about, everyone, and that we need to hear these new voices.


We aim to enable this through our mentoring programme, through exhibitions and events, and through long-term support for young people who may, as so many have, feel that they will never excel.

If you can see it, you can be it.

Please check their website for upcoming events.

Images courtesy of Lee Cavaliere